Prostate Health

In-vivo / Animal Studies

Article Study objectives/ findings
Mixed-tocotrienol inhibit prostate carcinogenesis in TRAMP mice.

Brave, A., et.al (2010). Nutr Cancer.

The biological activities of tocotrienols are receiving increasing attention. Herein, we report the efficacy of a mixed-tocotrienol diet against prostate tumorigenesis in the transgenic adenocarcinoma mouse prostate (TRAMP) mouse model. Male TRAMP mice, 8 wk old, were fed 0.1%, 0.3%, or 1% mixed tocotrienols in AIN-76A diet up to 24 wk old. Likewise, a positive control group consisting of male TRAMP mice and a negative control group consisting of wild-type nontransgenic mice were fed regular AIN-76A diet up to 24 wk old. Our results show that mixed-tocotrienol-fed groups had a lower incidence of tumor formation along with a significant reduction in the average wet weight of genitourinary apparatus. Furthermore, mixed tocotrienols significantly reduced the levels of high-grade neoplastic lesions as compared to the positive controls. This decrease in levels of high-grade neoplastic lesions was found to be associated with increased expression of proapoptotic proteins BAD (Bcl(2) antagonist of cell death) and cleaved caspase-3 and cell cycle regulatory proteins cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27. In contrast, the expression of cyclins A and E were found to be decreased in mixed-tocotrienol groups. Taken together, our results show that by modulating cell cycle regulatory proteins and increasing expression of proapoptotic proteins, mixed tocotrienols suppress prostate tumorigenesis in the TRAMP mice. 
In vivo evidence of gamma-tocotrienol as a chemosensitizer in the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

Yap, W.N., et.al (2010). Pharmacology.

gamma-Tocotrienol (gammaT3) is known to selectively kill prostate cancer (PCa) cells and to sensitize the cells to docetaxel (DTX)-induced apoptosis. In the present study, the pharmacokinetics of gammaT3 and the in vivo cytotoxic response of androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPCa) tumor following gammaT3 treatment were investigated. Here, we investigated these antitumor effects for PCa tumors in vivo. The pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution of gammaT3 after exogenous gammaT3 supplementation were examined. Meanwhile, the response of the tumor to gammaT3 alone or in combination with DTX were studied by real-time in vivo bioluminescent imaging and by examination of biomarkers associated with cell proliferation and apoptosis. After intraperitoneal injection, gammaT3 rapidly disappeared from the serum and was selectively deposited in the AIPCa tumor cells. Administration of gammaT3 alone for 2 weeks resulted in a significant shrinkage of the AIPCa tumors. Meanwhile, further inhibition of the AIPCa tumor growth was achieved by combined treatment of gammaT3 and DTX (p < 0.002). The in vivo cytotoxic antitumor effects induced by gammaT3 seem to be associated with a decrease in expression of cell proliferation markers (proliferating cell nuclear antigen, Ki-67 and Id1) and an increase in the rate of cancer cell apoptosis [cleaved caspase 3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase]. Additionally, the combined agents may be more effective at suppressing the invasiveness of AIPCa. Overall, our results indicate that gammaT3, either alone or in combination with DTX, may provide a treatment strategy that can improve therapeutic efficacy against AIPCa while reducing the toxicity often seen in patients treated with DTX. 

In-vitro Studies

Article Study objectives/ findings
Synergistic Impact of d-δ-Tocotrienol and Geranylgeraniol on the Growth and HMG CoA Reductase of Human DU145 Prostate Carcinoma Cells.

Yeganehjoo, H., et.al (2017). Nutr Cancer.

 

The growth-suppressive effect of d-δ-tocotrienol and geranylgeraniol is at least partially attributed to their impact on 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway that provides essential intermediates for the posttranslational modification of growth-related proteins including RAS. We hypothesize that these agents synergistically impact cell growth based on their complementary mechanisms of action with HMG CoA reductase. d-δ-tocotrienol (0-40 µmol/L; half maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 15 µmol/L) and geranylgeraniol (0-100 µmol/L; IC50 = 60 µmol/L) each induced concentration-dependent suppression of the growth of human DU145 prostate carcinoma cells. Blends of the two agents synergistically suppressed the growth of DU145 cells, with combination index values ranging 0.67-0.75. While 7.5 µmol/L d-δ-tocotrienol and 30 µmol/L geranylgeraniol individually had no impact on cell cycle distribution in DU145 cells, a blend of the agents induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. The synergistic downregulation of the expression of HMG CoA reductase by 7.5 µmol/L d-δ-tocotrienol and 30 µmol/L geranylgeraniol was accompanied by a reduction in membrane K-RAS protein. Our finding supports the cancer chemopreventive action of plant-based diets and their isoprenoid constituents. Properly formulated isoprenoids and derivatives may provide novel approaches in prostate cancer prevention and therapy. 
Inhibitory effect of a redox-silent analogue of tocotrienol on hypoxia adaptation in prostate cancer cells.

Shiozawa, N., et.al (2017). Anticancer Drugs.

 

 

 

Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common cancers in Western countries and acquires a malignant phenotype, androgen-independent growth. PCa under hypoxia often has resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, an effective therapy against PCa under hypoxia has not yet been established. In this report, we investigated the inhibitory effect of a redox-silent analogue of tocotrienol on the survival of a human androgen-independent PCa cell line (PC3) under hypoxia. We found that the redox-silent analogue exerted a cytotoxic effect on PC3 cells in a dose-dependent manner irrespective of either hypoxia or normoxia. Moreover, under hypoxia, the analogue dose dependently reduced the protein levels of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-2α. In addition, a specific inhibitor toward HIF-1α induced cytotoxicity on PC3 cells, whereas selective inhibition of HIF-2α exerted no effect. Furthermore, suppression of HIFs levels by the analogue in hypoxic PC3 cells was closely associated with the inactivation of Fyn, a member of the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase family, as confirmed by the action of a specific inhibitor toward the kinase (PP2). Taken together, these results suggest that the tocotrienol analogue could inhibit the survival of PC3 cells under hypoxia, mainly by the inhibition of Fyn/HIF-1α signaling, and this may lead to the establishment of a new effective therapy for androgen-independent PCa.
A naturally occurring mixture of tocotrienols inhibits the growth of human prostate tumor, associated with epigenetic modifications of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27.

Huang, Y., et.al (2017). J Nutr Biochem.

Tocotrienols, members of the vitamin E family, have three unsaturated bonds in their side chains. Recently, it has been suggested that the biological effects of tocotrienols may differ from that of tocopherols. Several in vitro studies have shown that tocotrienols have stronger anticancer effects than tocopherols. VCaP cell line used in this study is from a vertebral bone metastasis from a patient with prostate cancer. Eight-week-old male NCr(-/-) nude mice were subcutaneously injected with VCaP-luc cells in matrigel and then administered a tocotrienol mixture for 8 weeks. The tocotrienol mixture inhibited the growth of human prostate tumor xenografts in a dose-dependent manner. The concentrations of tocotrienols and their metabolites were significantly increased in treatment groups. Tocotrienols inhibited prostate tumor growth by suppressing cell proliferation, which was associated with the induction of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors p21 and p27. In addition, tocotrienol treatment was associated with elevated H3K9 acetylation levels at proximal promoter regions of p21 and p27 and with decreased expression of histone deacetylases. Tocotrienols inhibited human prostate tumor growth, associated with up-regulation of the CDK inhibitors p21 and p27. Elevated expression of p21 and p27 could be partly due to the suppressed expression of HDACs.
Inhibitory effect of a redox-silent analogue of tocotrienol on hypoxia adaptation in prostate cancer cells.

Shiozawa, N., et.al (2017). Anticancer Drugs.

 

Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common cancers in Western countries and acquires a malignant phenotype, androgen-independent growth. PCa under hypoxia often has resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, an effective therapy against PCa under hypoxia has not yet been established. In this report, we investigated the inhibitory effect of a redox-silent analogue of tocotrienol on the survival of a human androgen-independent PCa cell line (PC3) under hypoxia. We found that the redox-silent analogue exerted a cytotoxic effect on PC3 cells in a dose-dependent manner irrespective of either hypoxia or normoxia. Moreover, under hypoxia, the analogue dose dependently reduced the protein levels of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-2α. In addition, a specific inhibitor toward HIF-1α induced cytotoxicity on PC3 cells, whereas selective inhibition of HIF-2α exerted no effect. Furthermore, suppression of HIFs levels by the analogue in hypoxic PC3 cells was closely associated with the inactivation of Fyn, a member of the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase family, as confirmed by the action of a specific inhibitor toward the kinase (PP2). Taken together, these results suggest that the tocotrienol analogue could inhibit the survival of PC3 cells under hypoxia, mainly by the inhibition of Fyn/HIF-1α signaling, and this may lead to the establishment of a new effective therapy for androgen-independent PCa.
Gamma-tocotrienol induces apoptosis and autophagy in prostate cancer cells by increasing intracellular dihydrosphingosine and dihydroceramide.

Jiang, Q., et.al (2012). Int J Cancer.

Although cell-based studies have shown that γ-tocotrienol (γTE) exhibits stronger anticancer activities than other forms of vitamin E including γ-tocopherol (γT), the molecular bases underlying γTE-exerted effects remains to be elucidated. Here we showed that γTE treatment promoted apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy in human prostate PC-3 and LNCaP cancer cells. In search of potential mechanisms of γTE-provoked effects, we found that γTE treatment led to marked increase of intracellular dihydroceramide and dihydrosphingosine, the sphingolipid intermediates in de novo sphingolipid synthesis pathway but had no effects on ceramide or sphingosine. The elevation of these sphingolipids by γTE preceded or coincided with biochemical and morphological signs of cell death and was much more pronounced than that induced by γT, which accompanied with much higher cellular uptake of γTE than γT. The importance of sphingolipid accumulation in γTE-caused fatality was underscored by the observation that dihydrosphingosine and dihydroceramide potently reduced the viability of both prostate cell lines and LNCaP cells, respectively. In addition, myriosin, a specific inhibitor of de novo sphingolipid synthesis, counteracted γTE-induced cell death. In agreement with these cell-based studies, γTE inhibited LNCaP xenograft growth by 53% (p < 0.05), compared to 33% (p = 0.07) by γT, in nude mice. These findings provide a molecular basis of γTE-stimulated cancer cell death and support the notion that elevation of intracellular dihydroceramide and dihydrosphingosine is likely a novel anticancer mechanism.
Gamma-tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem-cell like population.

Luk, S.U., et.al (2011). Int J Cancer.

 

Emerging evidence supports that prostate cancer originates from a rare subpopulation of cells, namely prostate cancer stem cells (CSCs). Conventional therapies for prostate cancer are believed to mainly target the majority of differentiated tumor cells but spare CSCs, which may account for the subsequent disease relapse after treatment. Therefore, successful elimination of CSCs may be an effective strategy to achieve complete remission from this disease. Gamma-tocotrienols (γ-T3) is one of the vitamin-E constituents, which have been shown to have anticancer effects against a wide range of human cancers. Recently, we have reported that γ-T3 treatment not only inhibits prostate cancer cell invasion but also sensitizes the cells to docetaxel-induced apoptosis, suggesting that γ-T3 may be an effective therapeutic agent against advanced stage prostate cancer. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that γ-T3 can downregulate the expression of prostate CSC markers (CD133/CD44) in androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines (PC-3 and DU145), as evident from Western blotting analysis. Meanwhile, the spheroid formation ability of the prostate cancer cells was significantly hampered by γ-T3 treatment. In addition, pretreatment of PC-3 cells with γ-T3 was found to suppress tumor initiation ability of the cells. More importantly, although CD133-enriched PC-3 cells were highly resistant to docetaxel treatment, these cells were as sensitive to γ-T3 treatment as the CD133-depleted population. Our data suggest that γ-T3 may be an effective agent in targeting prostate CSCs, which may account for its anticancer and chemosensitizing effects reported in previous studies.
Gamma-tocotrienol induces growth arrest through a novel pathway with TGFβ2 in prostate cancer.

Campbell, S.E., et.al (2011). Free Radic Biol Med.

Regions along the Mediterranean and in southern Asia have lower prostate cancer incidence compared to the rest of the world. It has been hypothesized that one of the potential contributing factors for this low incidence includes a higher intake of tocotrienols. Here we examine the potential of γ-tocotrienol (GT3) to reduce prostate cancer proliferation and focus on elucidating pathways by which GT3 could exert a growth-inhibitory effect on prostate cancer cells. We find that the γ and δ isoforms of tocotrienol are more effective at inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cell lines (PC-3 and LNCaP) compared with the γ and δ forms of tocopherol. Knockout of PPAR-γ and GT3 treatment show inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth, through a partially PPAR-γ-dependent mechanism. GT3 treatment increases the levels of the 15-lipoxygenase-2 enzyme, which is responsible for the conversion of arachidonic acid to the PPAR-γ-activating ligand 15-S-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid. In addition, the latent precursor and the mature forms of TGFβ2 are down-regulated after treatment with GT3, with concomitant disruptions in TGFβ receptor I, SMAD-2, p38, and NF-κB signaling.
γ-Tocotrienol suppresses prostate cancer cell proliferation and invasion through multiple-signalling pathways

Yap, W.N., et.al (2008). Br J Cancer.

 

Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) has demonstrated antiproliferative effect on prostate cancer (PCa) cells. To elucidate this anticancer property in PCa cells, this study aimed, first, to identify the most potent isomer for eliminating PCa cells; and second, to decipher the molecular pathway responsible for its activity. Results showed that the inhibitory effect of γ-tocotrienol was most potent, which resulted in induction of apoptosis as evidenced by activation of pro-caspases and the presence of sub-G1 cell population. Examination of the pro-survival genes revealed that the γ-tocotrienol-induced cell death was associated with suppression of NF-κB, EGF-R and Id family proteins (Id1 and Id3). Meanwhile, γ-tocotrienol treatment also resulted in the induction of JNK-signalling pathway and inhibition of JNK activity by a specific inhibitor (SP600125) was able to partially block the effect of γ-tocotrienol. Interestingly, γ-tocotrienol treatment led to suppression of mesenchymal markers and the restoration of E-cadherin and γ-catenin expression, which was associated with suppression of cell invasion capability. Furthermore, a synergistic effect was observed when cells were co-treated with γ-tocotrienol and Docetaxel. Our results suggested that the antiproliferative effect of γ-tocotrienol act through multiple-signalling pathways, and demonstrated for the first time the anti-invasion and chemosensitisation effect of γ-tocotrienol against PCa cells.
Tocotrienol-rich fraction of palm oil induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis selectively in human prostate cancer cells.

Srivastava, J.K., et.al (2006). Biochem Biophys Res Commun.

In this study, employing normal human prostate epithelial cells (PrEC), virally transformed normal human prostate epithelial cells (PZ-HPV-7), and human prostate cancer cells (LNCaP, DU145, and PC-3), we evaluated the growth-inhibitory and apoptotic effects of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) extracted from palm oil. TRF treatment to PrEC and PZ-HPV-7 resulted in almost identical growth-inhibitory responses of low magnitude. In sharp contrast, TRF treatment resulted in significant decreases in cell viability and colony formation in all three prostate cancer cell lines. The IC(50) values after 24h TRF treatment in LNCaP, PC-3, and DU145 cells were in the order 16.5, 17.5, and 22.0 microg/ml. TRF treatment resulted in significant apoptosis in all the cell lines as evident from (i) DNA fragmentation, (ii) fluorescence microscopy, and (iii) cell death detection ELISA, whereas the PrEC and PZ-HPV-7 cells did not undergo apoptosis, but showed modestly decreased cell viability only at a high dose of 80 microg/ml. In cell cycle analysis, TRF (10-40 microg/ml) resulted in a dose-dependent G0/G1 phase arrest and sub G1 accumulation in all three cancer cell lines but not in PZ-HPV-7 cells. These results suggest that the palm oil derivative TRF is capable of selectively inhibiting cellular proliferation and accelerating apoptotic events in prostate cancer cells. TRF offers significant promise as a chemopreventive and/or therapeutic agent against prostate cancer.
Preferential radiation sensitization of prostate caner in nude mice by nutraceutical antioxidant gamma-tocotrienol.

Kumar, K.S., et.al (2006). Life Sci.

Gamma-tocotrienol (GT) is a member of the vitamin E family. Our preliminary studies indicated that it protected mice from lethal irradiation, so we hypothesized that GT might be a radiation sensitizing agent for tumors. To test this, we induced prostate tumors by injecting PC3 cells into nude BALB/c mice. When the tumors were about 5 mm in diameter, mice were injected subcutaneously with 400 mg/kg gamma-tocotrienol and irradiated 24 h later at the site of the tumor with a dose of 12 Gy (60) Cobalt. Tumor size was monitored for 24 days after radiation. Tumor tissues as well as normal tissues like rectum, kidney, and liver were monitored for lipid peroxidation on day 4 and day 24 after radiation. The results indicated that the size of the tumors was reduced by almost 40%, but only in GT-treated and irradiated mice. In unstimulated and Fe-stimulated lipid peroxidation groups, lipid peroxidation in the tumors from irradiated mice increased to 135% and 150%, respectively, four days after irradiation and 33% and 66% in the same groups, respectively, 24 days after irradiation. In general, lipid peroxidation in the rectum did not increase in GT-treated and irradiated mice, although there was a slight increase in Fe-stimulated lipid peroxidation (29%) four days after irradiation. Unexpectedly, the kidneys were as equally sensitized to lipid peroxidation as the tumors. Liver tissue was protected in the short-term from radiation-induced lipid peroxidation. These studies indicate that the radiotherapy efficacy of prostate cancer can be increased with GT and a pro-oxidant if the kidneys can be shielded.
Gamma-tocotrienol metabolism and antiproliferative effect in prostate cancer cells.

Conte, C., et.al (2004). Ann N Y Acad Sci.

In this study, the antiproliferative effect of tocotrienols (T3) and the presence of a specific vitamin E metabolism in PC3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells was evaluated. These cell lines are able to transform tocopherols (T) and T3 in the corresponding carboxyethyl-hydroxychromans metabolites (CEHCs). The extent of this metabolism and the inhibitory effect on cell growth followed the order of magnitude alpha-T<alpha-T3<gamma-T<gamma-T3. The partial inhibition of gamma-T3 metabolism by ketoconazole did not influence cell proliferation. These early findings may suggest that the transformation of vitamin E to CEHC is mostly a detoxification mechanism useful to maintain the malignant properties of prostate cancer cells.